Friday, June 25, 2004

Gore Attacks from the left: Democracy itself is in grave danger | "Democracy itself is in grave danger"
Even though we are now attuned to orange alerts and the potential for terrorist attacks, our founders would almost certainly caution us that the biggest threat to the future of the America we love is still the endemic challenge that democracies have always faced whenever they have appeared in history -- a challenge rooted in the inherent difficulty of self-governance and the vulnerability to fear that is part of human nature. Again, specifically, the biggest threat to America is that we Americans will acquiesce in the slow and steady accumulation of too much power in the hands of one person.

Having painstakingly created the intricate design of America, our founders knew intimately both its strengths and weaknesses, and during their debates they not only identified the accumulation of power in the hands of the executive as the long-term threat which they considered to be the most serious, but they also worried aloud about one specific scenario in which this threat might become particularly potent -- that is, when war transformed America's president into our commander in chief, they worried that his suddenly increased power might somehow spill over its normal constitutional boundaries and upset the delicate checks and balances they deemed so crucial to the maintenance of liberty.

There's been a trend in the Bush reign towards the idea that a war-time president is above the law, indeed, is the law. I wonder if Gore fears that Bush will stage something in October ...

Gore studies history. He knows democracy is not a certainty. Full democracy is only about 34 years old in the US. He's worried that we may lose our soul in the way we respond to terrorism.

I'd expect al Qaeda to launch an October attack with a chemical or radioactive weapon, with the intent to keep GWB in power. If they do, look for GWB to declare martial law ...

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